‘Microsoft to launch social networking phone in U.S.’

Microsoft lost its smartphone market after the launch of Apple’s iPhone, Blackberry and numerous devices running Google’s Android

Software giant Microsoft is to launch its own mobile phones in the U.S. later this year as it aims to challenge the growing smartphone dominance of its main rivals Apple and Google, the technology blog Gizmodo reported Friday.

The phones will be made available in July exclusively on Verizon, the largest cellphone carrier in the U.S., and will be aimed at heavy users of social networks, said the report, which featured what it said were leaked images from the phones’ marketing campaign. The two phones are codenamed Pink and Pure, and will be manufactured for the software giant by Sharp, the report said.

The report came after Microsoft last month unveiled a new mobile operating system that was widely praised by technology pundits.

Microsoft used to enjoy a leading position in the smartphone arena but has seen its position severely eroded by Apple’s iPhone, by the Blackberry and by numerous devices running Google’s Android operating system.

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